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Documentary Films


The Cats of Gokogu Shrine

Observational Film #10, 119 minutes, 2024

- Berlin International Film Festival 2024



Observational Film #9, 128 minutes, 2020

- Ecumenical Prize, Berlin International Film Festival 2020
- The Best Film, Festival des 3 Continents 2020

- Official Selection: MoMA Documentary Fortnight, IDFA, Hot Docs, Hong Kong International Film Festival, RIDM, Watch Docs, etc.

The Big House

Observational Film #8, 119 minutes, 2018

- Berlin Critics' Week 2018

Inland Sea

Observational Film #7, 122 minutes, 2018

- Berlin International Film Festival 2018

MUBI Audience Award "Streaming Film of the Year" 2019


Oyster Factory

Observational Film #6, 145 minutes, 2015

- Audience Award, Kinotayo Film Festival

- Official Selection: Locarno Film Festival, Festival des 3 Continents, Hong Kong

International Film Festival, Vancouver International Film Festival, etc.


Campaign 2

Observational Film #5, 149 minutes, 2013

- Official Selection: Cinema du Reel (International Competition), Dubai International Film Festival (Competition), MoMA Documentary Fortnight, Hong Kong International Film Festival

Theatre 2

Observational Film #4, 170 minutes, 2012

- Young Jury's Prize, Festival des 3 Continents

- Official Selection: Busan International Film Festival, Festival des 3 Continents, etc

Theatre 1

Observational Film #3, 172 minutes, 2012

- Young Jury's Prize, Festival des 3 Continents

- Official Selection: Busan International Film Festival, Festival des 3 Continents, etc


Observational Film Extra, 75 minutes, 2010

- Audience Award, Tokyo Filmex

- The Best Documentary Award, Hong Kong International Film Festival

- Buyens-Chagoll Prize, the Visons du Reel

- Opening Film, DMZ Korean International Documentary Festival


Observational Film #2, 135 minutes, 2008

- Berlin International Film Festival 2009

- Best Documentary, Pusan International Film Festival

- Best Documentary, Dubai International Film Festival

- Special Jury Mention, Miami International Film Festival

- Outstanding Documentary Award, Hong Kong International Film Festival

- Inter-religious Jury Prize, Visions du Reel

- Received a post-production grant from Asian Network of Documentary (AND) Fund.

- Nominated for Asia Pacific Screen Award 2009



Observational Film #1, 120 minutes, 2007

- Berlin International Film Festival 2007

- Peabody Award, 2008

- Best Film, Belgrade International Film Festival

2010 - present

2010 - present

Short Documentary Film



2011, 3 minutes 11 seconds

As a part of 311 A Sense of Home Films, curated by Naomi Kawase.

Television Documentaries


My Son Was Killed


2005, 20 minutes, NHK. 

Worked as director/writer/editor.


111 First In Winter


2005, 20 minutes, NHK.

Worked as director/writer/editor.


The Metropolitan Museum Of Art Episode #4

110 minutes, 2004, NHK.

Worked as director/writer.


Solomon Guggenheim Museum

25 minutes, 2004, NHK.

Worked as director/writer.


Festival Of The Sun


120 minutes, 2002, NHK.

Worked as director/writer.


Internet Adoption


59 minutes, 2001, NHK.

Worked as director/writer/editor.


Television Documentary Series "New Yorkers"


1997-2004, 20 minutes, NHK. Worked as director/writer/editor.


• Paul Greenberg (podiatrist)

• Sid Grant (dance host)

• Monica Reyes (massage therapist)

• Seth Krakauer (job coach)

• Mark Hanafee (U.S. coast guard)

• Darek Mazurowski (male au pair)

• James Fitzgerald (entrepreneur)

• Ella Alphonse (home attendant for the elderly)

• Mark Baker (promoter for night clubs)

• Beate S. Gordon (constitution writer)

• Jill Rose (chef)

• Eric Drath (boxing manager)

• Phil H. and Doris K. (filmmakers)

• Tricia Kaye (designer)

• Patrick F. Molloy (furniture craftsman)

• El Husey (musician)

• Joe Soll (psycho therapist for adoptee)

• Phil Beder (driver for wheelchair users)

• Shane Hong (inventor)

• Reza Namazi (real estate broker)

• Julia P. Jones (stage manager)

• Mary Barknecht (frugal life activist)

• Barry Jetter (junk furniture shop owner)

• Brooks Singer (book cafe owner)

• Catherine Schuller (plus-size model)

• Rory Schmidt (soldier)

• Diane Brown (art dealer)

• Eric Stuart (ADR director for Anime)

• Margaret and Michael (nature journalists)

• Steve Cannon (poet/writer)

• Daryl Khan (stringer for the New York Times)

• Jerry Dominguez (activist)

• Amy Goodman (Democracy Now!)

Fiction Films


The Flicker

17 minutes, 16 mm, 1997.

Official Selection: Venice International Film Festival, Max Orphuls Preis I international Film Festival.


Freezing Sunlight

85 minutes, 16 mm, 1996.

Official Selection: Sao Paulo International Film Festival, Brazil.


A Night In New York

10 minutes, 16 mm, 1995.

Official Selection: Flanders International Film Festival, Umeo International Film Festival, Hawaii International Film Festival, Cinequest Film Festival, Bruno 16 Film Festival, British Short Film Festival.


A Flower And A Woman

5 minutes, 16 mm, 1995.

Official Selection: Canadian International Film Festival.

Awards: Special Commendation, Canadian International Film Festival

Publications in Japanese (as author)


Why I Meditate: My experiences of Vipassana Meditation

なぜ僕は瞑想するのか ヴィパッサナー瞑想体験記

2021, Homesha, Shueisha Publishing.

A Man Who Observes: Things A Director Thinks About When He Makes A Film

観察する男 映画を一本撮るときに、 監督が考えること

2016, Mishimasha Publishing.

Pick Up A Camea, And Go To Town: Discussing "Observational Film"

カメラを持て、町へ出よう 「観察映画」論

2015, Shueisha International Publishing.

Fascism Without Enthusiasm: Observing Japanese Apathy

熱狂なきファシズム ニッポンの無関心を観察する

2014, Kawade Shobo Shinsha Publishing.


Are Japanese People Wanting To Throw Away Democracy?


2013, Iwanami Publishing.


Theatre v.s. Film: Can A Documentary Capture Fiction

演劇vs映画 ドキュメンタリーは「虚構」を映せるか

2012, Iwanami Publishing.


Why I Make Documentaries


2011, Kodansha Publishing.


Mental Illness And Mosaic: Aiming Camera To The World of Taboo

精神病とモザイク タブーの世界にカメラを向ける

2009, Chuohoki Publishing.



- Kinoyayo Film Festival, Paris, France, December 2022.

- Human Rights Festival, Zagreb, Croatia, December 2022.

- Watch Docs, Warsaw, Poland, December 2020.

- DMZ International Documentary Festival, South Korea, September 2020.

- RIDM, Montreal, Canada, November 2018.

- Festival dei Popoli, Italy, October 2017.

- Bozar, Brussels, Belgium, January 2016.

- UCCA Art Cinema, Beijing, China, December 2013.

- Hangzhou Asian Film Festival, China, October 2013.

- Japan Foundation, Canada, December 2012.

- South Taiwan Film Festival, Taiwan, October 2011.


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